Watching History: “I Got a Baaad Feeling About This”

Luckily, I keep a diary. My entry for the 9th of November was thus.

“The election was yesterday and Trump won.  It reminds me of when Bush won, except that Trump is a different animal.  Bush could pretend to be decent, Trump is seen as their savior but he’s a mean-spirited bully. Oh well, start saving money, I got a couple of things today.  I’m still trying to put together the Blog post on it. It’s too fresh and painful. Yay, I finished my blog. More important, I went into photoshop and threw in a lightsaber on my favorite selfie. It looks noice. Gilles says it’s like the new Mona Lisa.” Not exactly pithy stuff but it keeps me sane.

This is an illustration of the denial and “self-care” that people in blue states, insulated by media predicting a Hillary win, have been dealing with.  In another class, I’m doing a project on Anne Frank, of whom I’ve been obsessed since I was a child.  My mother made sure I read her book as soon as I could comprehend the words and knowing my mother lived as an allied’s child in Germany after the war, it gave me an understanding of the aftermath that her six-year old mind struggled to grasp.  It was through Anne Frank that I learned the true meaning of empathy as I cried to my mom, “Why would anyone kill her she was just a young girl?”. My mom didn’t have any answers and we watched every History channel WWII documentary back when the History channel actually taught history instead of making popular shows about truck drivers and aliens.  We wanted answers, we wanted to know how Hitler (an obvious madman in hindsight) gained power.  We ate up every documentary which explained his tormented childhood and tried to spot the moment when history could have turned a good corner.  We listened to my grandpa (when he had drunk too much port) and he told us what he went through as a soldier fighting at Die Burenhaus, in Villengen-Schwenningen (known as “the Brown House” by my grandpa and the English Allies).  His closest friend shot dead next to him, he had to wrap him in a blanket and put his dog-tags around his feet so that he could have a chance at being identified and maybe sent home to his loved ones. Two Polish boys from the Ghetto, barely in their teens, who joined the Allies when their entire village was murdered by the Nazis.  Grandpa said that when the war had turned and the Allies were taking in the lower-level privates and the drafted Germans who were surrendering in droves, the two Poles notified the Sergeant in charge that one of the lower surrendering officers was in fact the S.S. Officer who they watched murder their entire family and village.  Grandpa’s Sergeant then asked for TWO volunteers to “interrogate” the prisoner.  The rest of the unit understood and only two hands went up.  Grandpa: “Those Polish boys interrogated him within an inch of his life.” He admitted to being the S.S. Officer in question and provided more intel after that.  While what the Sergeant did was probably against the Geneva convention, it earned him the undying respect from his men as a fair leader.  That is the line I walk every day. I understand the draw and the attraction of unorthodox methods that fly in the face of convention, however, I also understand spin and ultimately how it can make monsters out of the ordinary man. Others have been feeling the same. On Youtube there are videos of everyday people expressing and processing this moment in history. I found this man’s sentiments lovely.

I hope that President Trump proves me wrong, but history leads me to worry about his methods and whether he will uphold the Constitution of the United States or look at it as another legal contract to weasel out of and get around.  Many dictators before him have done this as soon as being elected.  Whatever happens, we should all keep on journaling.

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